CD, Liquid Records, 2007
If Trent Reznor and Jim Morrison decided to have a lovechild, and said spawn recorded an album, would it sound anything like “Scythe,” the debut LP from Salt Lake City’s Dimension Zero? Apparently so, according to Philip Montgomery (Monty) Singleton, the man behind the project. Mr. Singleton promises us a “semi-dark aggressive EBM band” which draws its influences from a diverse array of unrelated artists, such as U2 (whose track, “God Part II,” they cover), Michael Jackson, Dr. Dre and Pink Floyd. All that, and it comes in a pretty, shiny package to boot. Housed in a silver cardboard case, the album treats us to two pull out trays, one containing the actual ten-track release and the other a cardboard sleeve that holds the well-hidden lyrics booklet. The airbrushed grim reaper and hearse motifs on the trays themselves adhere to the theme of the CD, but do leave me with the distinct taste of Velveeta in my mouth. More subtlety and slightly less cheese would compliment the pretty silver exterior better in this reviewer’s humble opinion.
I try not to have preconceived notions of what a CD is “supposed to sound like” based on external factors, but when a band promotes themselves as a certain genre of music, in this case “semi-aggressive dark EBM” and a fusion of coldwave and classic rock at the same time, you can’t help but dive into the CD with certain expectations. After listening to “Scythe” multiple times I have yet to find that elusive EBM element. I am, however, detecting a definite classic rock presence in “Ice Man.” If you’re into a more old school rock sound, updated with some modern synths, this track is definitely up your alley. The lounge-flavored grim reaper anthem, “Nascentes Morimur,” will appeal to those with a black humor streak; the chosen few who like to put fun back into funeral. The sample at the end of “The Era of Voyeurism” makes me wonder if the track was meant to function as easy listening music written specifically for evil robots that spend their days plotting the destruction of humanity. “October” paints a forlorn portrait of love lost by using organs, acoustic guitars and church bells as its medium. I cannot think of a more appropriate way to end a CD devoted to death’s favorite apparatus.
When all is said and done, “Where’s the beef?” – and by beef I mean all the “semi aggressive dark EBM action” that was promised. I heard rock music peppered with synths; alas none of it could possibly pass for electronic body music’s long lost cousin, never mind the genre itself. While the CD would most likely appeal to a fan of electronic rock, it’s time to call a spade a spade and admit that if you’re looking for your standard EBM fare, “Scythe” probably isn’t going to suit your tastes.
— Bea W.